Marvel and DC Square Off for Ultimate Gridiron Bragging Rights...

AFJ Photo Contest Rules at the Bottom!

The Eagles finally have a chance to earn a Super Bowl win, while the Patriots are eager to cement their reputation as the Yankee of professional football. But let's face it: these two aren't exactly heated rivals. Certainly not like, say, Marvel Comics and DC, whose competitiveness stretches back to over 50 years and destroys entire universes in its fervor. Both sides also have the personnel to put on the field, and while that Reggie Bush is a hell of a runner, he's got some work to do before he gets up to the Flash's level.

In anticipation of the big game, the two sides decided to hold a little football match of their own--the Super Hero Bowl--filling their roster with the mightiest heroes and villains in all of comics. The rules work as follows: each team can field eleven players on offense, eleven players on defense, one kicker and one kick returner. The offensive roster for each side (including special teams) will be composed solely of heroes, while the defense consists solely of villains. Each team has three coaches--a heroic offensive coordinator, a villainous defensive coordinator and one head coach. The final roster is as follows:


Offense and Special Teams 1+4
Quarterback: Superman
A no-brainer for the field-general position: the Man of Steel can do it all, and no one in DC Comics is more respected.

Running Back: Green Lantern
A running back needs supreme maneuverability, along with the toughness to take a punch. Any of the Green Lanterns will do, but we'll go with Guy Gardner, just because he's got the right attitude for football.

Fullback: The Martian Manhunter
He has the strength to power through the line, along with shapeshifting abilities to squeeze between even the most densely packed defenders for that extra yard.

Tight End: Captain Marvel
The strength of Hercules… the speed of Mercury… the ability to find the seam in the defense and throw a block or two during a pass play… Cap is the total package, making him DC's go-to guy in the backfield.

Offense and Special Teams 5-7Wide Receiver (1): The Flash
You're not going to catch him. Don't even try.

Wide Receiver (2): Plastic Man
While Plas lacks the raw speed of the Flash, he's the best hands man on the field: no thrown ball will ever be out of his reach.

Center: Aquaman
He's not quite as strong as the rest of the offensive line and his little fish friends won't be much help up here, but Aquaman gets the job because of his JLA rapport with Superman (as well as having enough brains to keep the snap count straight).

Offense and Special Teams 8-11Offensive Lineman (1): Power Girl
One of the premiere bruisers for her team, Power Girl stops most defenders in their tracks.

Offensive Lineman (2): Captain Atom
Though a trifle injury-prone (don't rip the suit guys!), Cap's too tough to be left off the front line.

Left Tackle: Supergirl
Who better to protect the QB's blind side than his Kryptonian cousin?

Right Tackle: Cyborg
Cyborg has the strength to block the rush, and his enhanced sight can pick up on any surprise defensive plays.

Offense and Special Teams 12-13

Kicker: Green Arrow
His foot strength may not be as strong as his arm strength, but Oliver Queen has the eye to get it between the uprights every time.

Kick Returner: Metamorpho
Fast thinking, fast changing, fast moving… he's a born playmaker in a position where split-second decisions make all the difference.

DC Defense 1-4
Defensive Lineman (1): Doomsday
He iced Superman. Toughest. Bastich. Ever.

Defensive Lineman (2): Kalibak
It was a close call here between the monstrous Kalibak and his adoptive father, but Darkseid really struck us as more of the owner type. The kid's good enough for trench work.

Defensive Lineman (3): Bizarro
You've got to watch his placement lest he get left and right mixed up, but those qualities also make Bizarro the perfect x-factor to confound offensive plays.

Defensive Lineman (4): Bane
Yes, there's that pesky "controlled substances" issue, but like Doomsday, Bane has proven his power against the very best. Plus, somebody on the line needs a brain in his head.

Linebacker 1-3Linebacker (1): Giganta
Not only is she monstrously strong and taller than the nosebleed seats, but she takes her signing bonus in bananas!

Linebacker (2): Solomon Grundy
You can't kill what's already dead. Nor can you stop his pass rush.

Linebacker (3): Lobo
Like the Oakland Raiders, The Main Man isn't afraid to play dirty. We're betting he'll find a way to sneak that chain onto the field… and take it right to the QB's face.

GroddSafety (1): Gorilla Grodd
Grodd has the right combination of strength, dexterity, and savvy to respond to any defensive situation. Also, he can make interceptions with his feet.

Safety (2): Sinestro
Like Grodd, Sinestro can move down the field quickly, while possessing the raw power to stop the rush before it gets any farther towards the end zone.

Defensive Back (1): Deathstroke The Terminator
Deathstroke is guaranteed to stay on his man like glue, no matter what tricks the wideout sees fit to play.

Defensive Back (2): The Gentleman Ghost
You just can't tackle him, and while catching interceptions are a problem for him, the Gentleman Ghost can move right through the receiver to get to the ball.

DC Coaches
Head Coach: Batman
Bats is always two steps ahead of everyone, and his tactical skills are second to none. Do you want to match battle plans with him?

Offensive Coordinator: Wonder Woman
Diana possesses thousands of years of military training and a naturally strategic mind. She can also substitute for just about anyone on the offensive side of the field if need be.

Defensive Coordinator: Lex Luthor
Lex has no powers, but he does have copious experience in leading teams of supervillains, as well as thwarting even the most brilliant heroic schemes. He's our guy



Offence and Special Teams 1-4
Quarterback: Thor
He's tough, he's a natural leader, and let's face it: the man can throw.

Running Back: Wolverine
The ole Canucklehead is compact and agile with terrific leaping ability: the ideal running back for Marvel's line-up. (He's also very good at staying off the injured list.)

Fullback: Cannonball
Cannonball does one thing, and he does it very well: go forward in a straight line. That makes him the go-to guy in any goal-line situation.

Tight End: Iron Man
Hey, he comes with his own pads! Iron Man's repulsors are also great at clearing a path in situations where he doesn't get the ball.

Offence and Special Teams 5-7Wide Receiver (1): The Silver Surfer
When you've traversed the byways of the cosmos with unerring accuracy, finding the end zone is a piece of cake.

Wider Receiver (2): Spider-Man
Spidey has the speed to get anywhere, and his ability to cling to any surface means that he just needs a finger-tip to haul in that errant pass.

Center: She-Hulk
Jennifer Walters is smart enough to keep the plays straight and strong enough to hold back the rush once the ball is in her teammates' hands.

Offensive Lineman 1-4Offensive Lineman (1): The Incredible Hulk
Despite the fact that he's a personal foul just waiting to happen, there's just no stopping the Hulk once he gets going.

Offensive Lineman (2): The Thing
Ben Grimm has the rasslin' skills to hold back even the squirreliest defender.

Left Tackle: Colossus
Piotr Rasputin is a fundamental team player, making him the best choice to keep the quarterback safe.

Right Tackle: Hercules
Like the Thing, Herc is an unparalleled wrestler, letting him stop the run with ease. His locker-room parties rock, too.

KickersKicker: Daredevil
The Man Without Fear can always be counted on in clutch situations--like when the game rests on a field goal--and with his built-in sonar, he's not going to miss.

Kick Returner: Nightcrawler
"The kick is up, Wagner is back to receive it and…" *BAMF!* Touchdown every time.

Defense 1-4
Defensive Lineman (1): The Juggernaut
Arguably the strongest being in the Marvel universe, his sheer unstoppability is more than any three offensive linemen can handle.

Defensive Lineman (2): The Blob
Fred J. Dukes redefines the term "clogging the lane."

Defensive Lineman (3): Titania
Titania isn't quite as strong as her fellow linemen, but she's got a mean streak a mile wide, coupled with a bench press of about 90 tons: more than enough to bring any protection crashing down on the QB's head.

Defensive Lineman (4): Sebastian Shaw
Shaw's ability to absorb kinetic force means that no matter how hard you push him, he'll always be able to push back in kind.

Linebacker 1-3Linebacker (1): Omega Red
Even if you stop him cold, those slippery tentacles are still going to find their way around the quarterback's neck.

Linebacker (2): The Rhino
The Rhino is a good example of strength in motion: tough to stop when he gets going and bringing unbearable pressure to the pass rush.

Linebacker (3): Drax the Destroyer
Alternately strong enough to make a good defensive lineman, Drax gets the nod here for his flight ability… letting him glide right over any offensive players in his way.

Safety and DefenseSafety (1): Venom
Venom possesses all of Spidey's quickness and superior strength to boot, helping him corral any backs fortunate enough to make it to the secondary.

Safety (2): Sabretooth
Victor Creed's killer instinct is invaluable as an all-around defender, as is his superhuman reflexes. (Gratuitous penalties remain a problem, however.)

Defensive Back (1): The Green Goblin
In addition to his speed and reflexes, the Goblin has a glider allowing him to intercept passes in the air and pumpkin bombs to take care of those balls which get away.

Defensive Back (2): The Lizard
Skinks in the backfield! The Lizard's got the moves to get anywhere he needs to, and his claws will keep any wideout too worried about his precious eyeballs to bother with the catch.

Marvel coaches
Head Coach: Charles Xavier
You know those games where your team's coach is just firing on all cylinders and it's like he can read the other guy's mind? Professor X is like that all the time.

Offensive Coordinator: Captain America
Unlike chemically enhanced villains, Cap is too honorable to enter the playing field with the Super Soldier serum coursing through his veins. His planning skills make him an ideal sideline commander, however.

Defensive Coordinator: Doctor Doom
"Ah, now you see the folly of attempting to fathom Doom's ingenious blitz package, which none dare stand against- what dost thou mean, 'encroachment!?' IMPUDENT FOOL!!!"

HALF TIMES HOW 2018Play will commence as soon as they find a stadium capable of taking the punishment. Dazzler and Zatanna are handling the halftime show.

Rob Vaux has worked as a professional film critic since 2000: writing for such sites as Collider,, Flipside Movies and the Sci-Fi Movie Page. He also runs a blog,, covering musings and notions on the world of film. He lives in sunny Southern California with his wife and a whirling menagerie of animals.

Superhero Bowl 2018!!!AFJ #SUPERHEROBOWL18
!!! Junkies! We are hyping the Super Bowl this week with a fantastic piece/ contest! Check out Robert Vaux's SUPER HERO BOWL where Marvel and DC square off in the big game. For the contest snap a picture of Marvel and DC figures (any era) playing football against each other,  and share it in the comments on our social media pages with #SUPERHEROBOWL18. Add to your chances by subscribing to our Twitter (@therealafj) and our Instagram (@therealafj). Good luck Junkies!

Contest Deadline: Start of the Game Sunday, February 4th.
Winner Announced: On the AFJ Facebook Page during the halftime show! 

The Winner will receive NECA's Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Two-Pack! Seen below!
Muhammad Ali and Superman

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